GE announces major study to validate 64-slice CT for cardiovascular disease evaluation
GE Healthcare announced at ACC this week its sponsorship of the first in a series of multi-center, multi-patient trials to further validate the clinical efficacy of 64-slice CT as a method for the diagnosis and treatment planning of cardiovascular disease. The multi-center trial will use GE’s LightSpeed VCT system.     

The intent of these multi-center, multi-patient trials is to determine what role VCT can play in minimizing non-interventional catheterization as well as how VCT can be used to improve the early diagnosis of otherwise occult coronary artery disease.

Physicians currently using CT as a diagnostic tool for coronary artery disease detection are finding that many costly diagnostic catheterization procedures could be circumvented by utilizing advanced CT systems, GE said.
Unlike previous clinical studies comparing multi-slice CT with diagnostic cardiac catheterization, GE Healthcare’s multi-center trial will not only seek to clinically validate the use of CT for non-invasive diagnosis of CAD, but will also examine patient results and analyze changes in the cardiologist’s decision-making process and patient management.

"CT angiography is the most significant innovation in cardiology within the last 15 years and offers tremendous promise for increasing patient safety as a non-invasive diagnostic procedure, while at the same time identifying disease at an earlier stage when more treatment options are available," said James Min, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Division of Cardiology at Weill Cornell Medical College & New York Presbyterian Hospitals, and one of the investigators in the new cardiac CT multi-center clinical trial. "Based on my initial findings using the VCT, I strongly believe that cardiac CT angiography has the potential to dramatically change the way we practice clinical cardiology, at least in part by significantly reducing the number of patients who need to undergo an unnecessary invasive diagnostic catheterization procedure."

Patient enrollment in this multi-center trial is now beginning, with a goal of over 500 at the 20-plus sites. Results are expected to be published in 2007.